Since I’m heading out on my big Europe trip in exactly one week (eeeeekkk!), I figured I would share my itinerary. Here it is:
May 30 – June 3: Copenhagen
June 3 – June 9: Berlin
June 9 – June 15: Kraków
June 15 – June 22: Prague
June 22 – June 25: Český Krumlov (a town in the South Bohemia region of the Czech Republic which I kept reading great things about, and which is supposed to be totally dreamy)
June 25 – July 4: Salzburg
July 4 – July 11: Vienna
July 11 – July 18: Budapest
July 18 – July 21: Zagreb
July 21 – July 24: Zadar
July 24 – July 29: Split
July 29 – August 5: Dubrovnik
August 5 – August 12: the Amalfi Coast (with a little town called San Lazzaro as my home base)
August 12 – August 20: Rome (actually, I’m staying at a hostel in Zagarolo, which is about a 35-minute train ride outside of Rome, but of course I plan to spend most of my time in the capital)
August 20 – August 26: Cinque Terre
August 26 – August 30: Venice
August 30: Take the train from Venice to Milan and fly back to Toronto from Milan airport
That’s it! Whew!
Now I know the generally accepted method is not to book too much of your accommodation or transportation in advance because you should try to remain flexible, but I’m the kind of person who likes to have things planned out in advance. Call me unspontaneous, but I like to know for sure that I will have a bed to sleep in when I arrive in a foreign city by myself. Not only that, but I want to make sure I snag a spot at the best hostels before they all fill up. I’d rather not be forced to stay in some dirty, bedbug-infested hellhouse because every other hostel is full.
As for transportation, I think it’s always a good idea to book your buses and trains well in advance because (as a general rule) the closer you get to your departure date, the more expensive your transportation options will become. You will usually find the cheapest possible train fares if you book as soon as the tickets become available (i.e. a few months ahead of time).
So how am I getting from city to city? Mostly by bus, with the exception of Italy (where the train is pretty much always your best bet), the journey from Salzburg to Vienna (which happened to be cheapest by train), and the journey from Croatia to Italy (Easyjet flight). When most people think of travelling through Europe, train travel is probably the first thing that comes to mind, but actually travelling by bus is often the best option. Bus travel is almost always far cheaper than train travel, and is usually reliable (depending on the company). I always use www.checkmybus.com to find the cheapest bus for my route, and then do a bit of googling to find out if the company is reliable. For this trip I’m using a few different bus companies, but the one I’m using the most is FlixBus, which I’ve never used before but have read good things about. Tickets can be easily booked online at www.flixbus.com. What’s great about FlixBus is that you can download their mobile app and have all of your bus tickets easily accessible in one place on your phone. No need to print out your tickets!
Seems like I have everything set for an effortless good time, right? But of course, as we all know, mishaps are bound to happen on any overseas trip, and I’m sure I will get lost and befuddled at least a few times as I try to navigate a foreign continent by public transport. But that’s all part of the experience. 😉